Whether it was the lure of the sofa in the library, the option of sharing a great book with friends or the temptation of biscuits, 6 children signed up for book club. Over the course of the 8 weeks, another 3 children joined.

Having had the book on my ‘to read’ pile, I was delighted to have it nudged up my list by it being set as our RTRP book. I started reading it the evening we were issued it and shared with pupils at school using the usual format. 

As ever, the ‘usual’ suspects were eager to read it too and swooped down, circling the recommended reads shelf in the classroom…but what was great to observe, was that a couple of other children – not those who always wanted to devour books – were taking an interest. With gentle encouragement, they signed up for Book-Club and the first session arrived.

Munching on biscuits, we read the opening chapters together (tune-in/ tune-out: a favourite with this cohort!) and then watched one of Phil Earle’s YouTube videos.

Over the following weeks, we discussed and shared ideas, thoughts, likes and dislikes and tried to solve puzzles and answer questions. We heard more from the author himself about the thinking behind the book. One child in the group had recently had a dyslexic diagnosis so we explored this element too and she told me she felt supported and understood a little more. We also validated that listening to the book was just as good and this supported a couple of others too.

All too soon, our sessions were over, culminating in some art work inspired by the book. For those in the group who wanted to, I set an optional challenge of writing either a prologue or epilogue over the Easter holiday– I look forward to seeing what they produced! Those in the Book-Club are now ready to start the summer term as our ‘Jedis’ as the Y5 class start their research into what it was like for children being evacuated in WWII: this book has empowered them in more ways than one.